District seeks alternative for reading proficiency

Mar. 09, 2014 @ 12:26 AM

The Vance County school board at its meeting Monday night could approve alternative assessments for third-graders to demonstrate reading proficiency.

The Read to Achieve law, enacted by the N.C. General Assembly in July 2012, defines reading proficiency as a score of three or higher on the third-grade end-of-grade reading test or a separate Read to Achieve test.

Students can also demonstrate proficiency through a portfolio that is composed of 36 mini-tests, which students take after reading a passage and must score 70 percent or above.

The State Board of Education recently approved requests from 30 school districts, including Wake and Johnston counties, to use local tests to meet the Read To Achieve requirements.

Vance County Schools also is looking to adopt alternative reading assessments that have already been approved by the State Board of Education.

In place of the reading portfolio, Vance County Schools is requesting to use the Reading 3D end of year Total Reading Comprehension assessment and ClassScape Benchmark Assessments, according to the agenda materials for Monday’s meeting.

They state students who score level P or higher on the Reading 3D end of year TRC will be deemed to have demonstrated third-grade reading proficiency.

Students must have an average score of 70 percent or above on the ClassScape Benchmark assessments or a 70 percent of above on the final mock assessment, according to the agenda materials.

The proposed alternative tests from local school districts must be approved by the local board of education and signed by the local board chair.

Local districts must also provide a statement verifying the local school board has determined the alternative assessment is a valid and reliable standardized test of reading comprehension that demonstrates a student is reading at or above the third-grade level.

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.